Thursday, February 28, 2008

Aboriginals 'oppressed' by extra $660 million from feds

Just ask the Saskatchewan chief of chiefs:

Joseph blasts budget as 'tool of oppression'
Lori Coolican, The StarPhoenix

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2008

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph delivered harsh words about the federal budget at a press conference Wednesday.

"This budget is a tool of oppression, and there is nothing in it that could lead to self-sufficiency or economic independence for the First Nations people of Saskatchewan or Canada," he said...

Harper's Conservatives would rather make welfare payments to aboriginal Canadians than support their business efforts, Joseph said, noting Indian and Northern Affairs Canada spent $173.3 million on social supports and maintenance programs in the last fiscal year, but only $11.7 million on economic development...

Conservative MP Carol Skelton, who represents the Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar riding, said she was disappointed by Joseph's remarks.

She noted the budget provides more than $70 million over two years for an aboriginal economic development framework, $70 million over two years to improve First Nations students' educational outcomes, $147 million over two years to stabilize aboriginal health programs, $43 million over two years for "prevention-based models of child and family services" and $330 million over two years to improve drinking water safety on reserves.

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